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Offshoring and jobs: The myriad channels of influence


Offshoring reallocates jobs inside firms, between firms, and across sectors, affecting the economy-wide unemployment rate. We study these channels in a model with labor market frictions and two sectors-a differentiated-good sector comprising heterogeneous firms that can offshore, and a homogeneous-good sector. A decline in offshoring costs affects intrafirm and intrasectoral reallocation of jobs in the differentiated-good sector through a selection effect, a productivity effect, and a job-relocation effect. The key parameters determining the impact of offshoring on jobs at various margins, as well as on the economy-wide unemployment rate, are the elasticity of substitution between inputs, the elasticity of substitution between varieties of differentiated goods, and the elasticity of demand for differentiated goods as a whole. Changes in search frictions affect unemployment both directly and through their interaction with offshoring. Highlights:

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